On Tuesday December 7th, 2021, the Syracuse Orange (5-3) will take on the Villanova Wildcats (6-2) at Madison Square Garden. The game coverage will tip off at 9:30 PM.
The last meeting between the two teams took place on December 20th, 2014 when the Wildcats defeated the Orange 82-77. The leading scorer for the Wildcats was their former McDonald’s All-American JayVaughn Pinkston who led all scorers with 25 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds. For the Orange, future NBA players Michael Gbinije and Rakeem Christmas led the Orange with 18 points apiece in a losing effort.
The Orange hold a 39-33 all-time record against the Wildcats.
The Orange is coming off a 63-60 win against Florida State in the ACC opener down in Tallahassee.. The Orange snapped the Seminoles’ 25-game home conference winning streak.
For both teams, the game was a tale of two halves. The Orange started off cold, shooting just 23 percent from the field but they flipped the script shooting an efficient 50 percent in the second half.
For the Seminoles, it was the opposite. In the first half the tempo was in favor of the Seminoles. They shot a respectable 42 percent from the field but had trouble scoring in the second half. The Orange outscored them 39-28 and held them to 28 percent from the field.
The leading scorers for the Orange were Joe Girard and former Villanova Wildcat Cole Swider who scored 16 points apiece. Caleb Mills led the Seminoles with 16 points of his own in a losing effort.
The next matchup between the teams will take place on Saturday, January 15th at the Carrier Dome.
The Wildcats are coming off a win in which they dominated their in-state rival Saint Joseph’s in an 81-52 win at home. Their floor general Collin Gillespie led the Wildcats with 23 points. Sophomore Jordan Hall led the Hawks with 22 points in a losing effort. The Wildcats only two losses are to 4th ranked UCLA and No. 1 Purdue.
The Wildcats may not be as deep as some of their teams of the recent past but they’re all about sticking to their game plan. They are a fundamentally sound team that does not make a lot of mistakes and are well coached by Jay Wright.
This matchup between the Orange and the Wildcats will be all about game plan discipline and guard play. For the Orange to win this matchup against the Wildcats, they’re going to have to cut down on their turnovers and avoid foul trouble. They will also have to slow down the backcourt of Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore which will be a tough task and is something the Orange will have to do by committee.
If the Orange do those things, they’ll have a 6-3 record and earn their 40th all-time win against their former Big East rival.